The Accidental Journalist: Man Live-Tweets Bin Laden's Death

BlogHer Original Post

When Sohaib Athar (@reallyvirtual), an IT consultant living in Abbottabad, Pakistan, started tweeting what he was hearing, he had no idea he was recording history. He simply admits:

I am JUST a tweeter, awake at the time of the crash. Not many twitter users in Abbottabad, these guys are more into facebook. That's all.!/ReallyVirtual/status/64931568094953472

But You're a Girl has the tale of @reallyvirtual's ongoing tweets, writing about what he was hearing as troops closed in on Osama Bin Laden and killed him. From the noise ("A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S") to his pictures, this man -- quite by accident -- recorded a moment in history.

As iPhones and blackberries give us instant video, photo, and texting capabilities, this will happen more and more often -- the accidental journalist or historian being created simply by Tweeting in the right place at the right time (or, in some cases the wrong place at the wrong time).

What are your thoughts? Do you think we'll see more accidental journalists and historians? And would you want to be the one unknowingly delivering the news to the world?

Credit Image: © Ahmad Kamal/Xinhua/

Melissa writes Stirrup Queens and Lost and Found. Her novel about blogging is Life from Scratch.


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